UPDATE: It now appears that while the piece was paid for by Nutter, a Burke supporter, the money changed hands before Nutter had shifted his allegiance to Burke. Both candidates have disavowed their third party mudslingers, which is wonderful news. While I still believe that Sly James is the best candidate for Mayor, my respect for Mike Burke remains solid.
Sly James has run a clean campaign, just as I knew he would. He’s just that kind of guy.
Mike Burke’s campaign has been floundering, though, just as I suspected it would.
That’s why I was honestly shocked and disgusted when I got a poorly-produced hatchet job in my mail today, attacking Mike Burke. Totally unprofessional, out of character for Sly, and completely unnecessary for a campaign that is winning with a joyful grace that has made me proud to know Sly.
It made me angry, and so I decided that I was going to do what I could to expose the creeps behind this kind of crap, even if they were fellow supporters of Sly. Wrong is wrong, dammit, and so I went to poke around the Missouri Ethics Commission website and see what kind of low-lives would do this.
The answer shocked even me.
The piece was paid for by none other than Mike Burke’s own strong supporter, James Nutter. The flyer was paid for by “Citizens for Integrity, Calvin Bender, Treasurer”. There is no such organization, but Calvin Bender is treasurer of the “Committee for Integrity”, and here’s the report of who gave money this year. Nutter is, as Burke is proud to point out, a prominent Burke supporter.
Now, why would Burke’s friend send out an amateurish piece doing a botched hatchet job on Burke?
Because it provokes in other likely voters exactly the reaction it provoked in me – revulsion at the perpetrator. And most people aren’t going to be as vengeful as I was, and bother to track down the creeps who produced it. So the taint would get unfairly placed on the innocent, clean-campaigning, Sly James.
Cleverly, they even chose to attack Burke on the fact that he is a development lawyer, an issue which has been obvious since day 1, and hence not anything that will lose Burke any further votes.
I am well aware, of course, that “Committee for Integrity” is not officially part of the Burke campaign, though I am also well aware that campaigns are able to exert strong influence over third-party mailings without technically “controlling” them. If anybody wants to be naive enough to believe that Mike Burke’s fingerprints are not all over this despicable bag of garbage, then those people should join with me in calling upon Mike Burke to publicly condemn Mr. Nutter, to return Nutter’s campaign donations to him, and to publicly state that Sly James has run a clean and honorable campaign, despite the lies being spread by his own supporters.